Vote Notes on Legislation
September 22, 2020 Vote Notes on Legislation
Just how long is the road we keep kicking this can down? This is another continuing resolution that extends federal spending until December 11, 2020, in order to get past the election. It’s a good bet we’ll see another one to get past the inauguration. And then to get past summer recess. What’s not a good bet is that this Congress will deal with the horrendous deficit it has created by ignoring its budget responsibilities.
September 17, 2020 Vote Notes on Legislation
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 already prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or a related condition. This bill adds an undefined mandate for “reasonable accommodation” which opens a pandora’s box of litigation. Large corporations might bear this burden, small employers could find it devastating. Ironically, the unintended effect could result in employers avoiding the potential liability when making hiring decisions. It also cedes law-making authority to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to carry out this act – meaning the EEOC would make law, enforce the law, adjudicate the law and profit from fines imposed under the law – something the Founders sought to avoid by separating legislative, executive and judicial powers.
August 22, 2020 Vote Notes on Legislation
The U.S. Post Office currently has $14 billion in cash reserves, is funded until August of 2021, and has a $10 billion line of credit that it has not used. Although it is required to be self-supporting, it continues to operate at appalling deficits due to its antiquated processes compounded by a dramatic loss of business to the Internet and private carriers. Last year, the bi-partisan U.S. Postal Commission ordered its operations to be streamlined and modernized...
February 13, 2020 Vote Notes on Legislation
The so-called equal rights amendment passed the Congress in 1972 with a seven-year deadline for ratification. In that period, it failed to get the required 38 states to ratify it. This year, 40 years late, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify it, while five states have rescinded their earlier ratifications. No matter. With this resolution, the Democrats propose to retro-actively repeal the clear expiration date in the amendment, count all states that have ratified it AFTER it expired and ignore all the states that have since rescinded their ratifications and declare it the 28th Amendment to the Constitution. This is the stuff banana republics are made of.
December 19, 2019 Vote Notes on Legislation
This is the trade agreement negotiated by the Trump administration and held up in the House for the last year by the Democrats...
December 19, 2019 Vote Notes on Legislation
This bill trades a temporary tax reduction for a permanent tax increase...
December 17, 2019 Vote Notes on Legislation
These bills guarantee a $1 trillion-plus budget deficit for the current year, which moves our nation much closer to a debt crisis in the near future. Think of it as $8,000 added to an average family’s credit card debt. I have a long list of policy objections to both bills, but my biggest concern is the cumulative damage that trillion-dollar deficits are creating for our nation. These bills would increase our debt trajectory ANOTHER $600 billion above what we’re currently projecting for the next decade. This is simply unsustainable and courts a debt spiral as the capital market begins to question our ability to confront it. The bi-partisan support for this bill is an urgent warning that neither party seems interested in even TRYING to address our looming debt crisis. Even the booming Trump economy can’t compensate for the long-term damage this collapse of fiscal discipline is creating for our country dead ahead and evokes Madame de Pompadour’s concession, “apres nous, le deluge.”
December 12, 2019 Vote Notes on Legislation
This bill provides for the government to set prices for drugs sold in the United States – classic price controls by a different name. The problem is that price controls – which date back to Hammurabi’s Code – consistently and unerringly produce a shortage of whatever commodity they’re trying to control -- in this case, life-saving drugs...
October 16, 2019 Vote Notes on Legislation
I believe the President chose the least of very bad alternatives in ordering the withdrawal of U.S. Forces in Kurdish-held regions of Syria. It is true that the withdrawal has caused a military vacuum which has drawn in Turkey, Russia and remnants of the Islamic State and has driven the Kurds to ally with the regime of Bashar al-Assad. None of this is desirable, but none justifies keeping American soldiers in harm’s way without a strategy or commitment to accomplish anything other than continuing stalemate. The Kurds and the Turks have been enemies for centuries, and there is no American interest that justifies maintaining U.S. troops in the cross-fire. I believe the President is attempting to restore fundamental principles that guided our country until the Korean War: that the United States does not attack another nation unless we are attacked and that when we are forced into war, Congress must formally declare it, put the full resources of our country behind our troops and annihilate the enemy as swiftly as possible. After the attack on September 11th, we did none of these things, resulting in nearly two decades of aimless and irresolute policy, the sacrifice of thousands of brave American youth and the squandering of trillions of dollars of our national treasure.
July 15, 2019 Vote Notes on Legislation
This bill requires the administration to determine who was responsible for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, impose sanctions based on these findings, and demand that Saudi Arabia take a range of actions on human rights before the sanctions can be lifted. Khashoggi, an early associate of Osama bin Laden, was not a U.S. citizen and was not murdered on U.S. soil. It is likely Khashoggi was assassinated by Saudi operatives in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul, Turkey, in retaliation for his criticism of the regime. As heinous as his murder was, Congress has no business imperiling our government’s relations with Saudi Arabia at a time when it is playing a critical role in containing Iranian expansion in the region.